Chief Justice nominee, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, has justified the decision by the Supreme Court to issue contempt summons to persons who insult or denigrate the image of the apex court.
The nominee appearing before the Vetting Committee stated that said summoning people for contempt is a tool to keep the dignity and reputation of the Courts in Ghana.
“The issuing of contempt summons has always been a tool that has been used by courts to ensure that the dignity of the court is not scandalized. The [Supreme] Court is one out of 400 courts, and it is the ultimate voice, so whenever the court acts, whether it is the High Court, Court of Appeal, or Supreme Court, it is to ensure that the Justice system is not scandalized,” Justice Torkornoo said.
The Supreme Court summoned Dr. Michael Kpessa-Whyte, a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and lecturer at the University of Ghana, for reportedly referring to the court as “a stupid court.”
He’s been summoned to explain why he shouldn’t be held in contempt.
In a recent Twitter tweet, Dr. Kpessa-Whyte asserted that the Supreme Court is being transformed into a “Stupid Court.”
In his tweet, the lecturer said that the apex court had become political and lacked common sense.
The post occurred after the Supreme Court requested that the name of an NDC MP, James Gyakye Quayson, be removed from parliament’s records due to procedural violations during his nomination and election in 2020.
But he has since clarified that the tweet was not related to Ghana’s Supreme Court.
“Thanks to all who have asked questions about my May 19th, 2023 tweet. For the avoidance of doubt, I follow judicial decisions in many countries and so the said tweet cannot be pinned to Ghana. It has more to do with developments elsewhere including the US. We live in a global village.”